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A recent survey revealed some startling revelations about young Irish girls and sport.

As part of their campaign, a movement called 20×20 made a video asking girls what it was like to an athlete in modern Ireland.

Those who were interviewed included a hurling player, a black belt in karate, and a runner whose family have nicknamed ‘Speedy.’

When the girls were asked who they looked up to they quickly names male sporting legends: Paul Pogba, Usain Bolt, Jack McCaffrey, Ronaldo, and Rory McIlroy.

However, when questioned about women sports stars they all hesitated, trying to think of a few that they had heard of.

“I don’t really know any of the girls,” replied a young hurling star.

The video was making an important point – that we need to be inspiring young girls by introducing them to and publicising female athletes more in pop culture.

“Whenever people are recording things, they don’t want to record girls for some reason,” explained one girl in an NFL jersey.

Another girl said that the only reason boys pass the ball to her in school is if the teacher says “you have to pass to five girls before you can score”.

“I just don’t say anything”, she said.

The video ends with a powerful statement…

“They have the passion”, the screen reads, “But they’re missing the inspiration.

“It’s time to show them a different future.”

20×20 is a movement that aims to put strong and powerful female athletes in the public’s eye so that young girls can be inspired to pursue their dreams despite all too common comments from those with sexist mindsets.

A cultural shift needs to take place, the movement urges, so that these girls are not limited by male sport-driven media.

Part of this shift is beginning, sparked by the recent accomplishments of the silver-winning Irish Women’s hockey team.

But there is so much more that needs to be done to truly encourage young girls to reach for the stars on and off the pitch.

It’s like the movement’s slogan says: “If she can’t see it, she can’t be it.”


As a woman in society, it would be quite unusual to have never ever experienced any form of sexism. 

From leering, uncomfortable catcalls, wage inequality, and being forced to continue with unwanted pregnancies (thanks for that one Ireland), it's no wonder that The World Heath Organisation has indicated that gender specific factors have a negative impact on female mental health. 

'Depression, anxiety, psychological distress, sexual violence, domestic violence and escalating rates of substance use affect women to a greater extent than men across different countries and different settings.'

'Depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms and high rates of comorbidity are significantly related to interconnected and co-occurrent risk factors such as gender based roles, stressors and negative life experiences and events.'

'Pressures created by their multiple roles, gender discrimination and associated factors of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence and sexual abuse, combine to account for women's poor mental health.'

'Gender specific risk factors for common mental disorders that disproportionately affect women include gender based violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low or subordinate social status and rank and unremitting responsibility for the care of others.'

The World Health Organisation goes on to point out that sexist elements of society can dictate not only how women feel in regards to mental health, but also hopw those issues get treated in both men and women. 

'Gender stereotypes regarding proneness to emotional problems in women and alcohol problems in men, appear to reinforce social stigma and constrain help seeking along stereotypical lines.'

'They are a barrier to the accurate identification and treatment of psychological disorder.'

So I guess those 'wow, she must be on her period' or 'calm down, you're just being over emotional' comments were wrong all along (not that we didn't know that).

As it turns out, societal sexism can be a contributing factor for a women's mental health. 



In the lead up to the World Cup in Russia, fears of off-pitch problems dominated the discussion. While there have yet to be any major incidents reported from the tournament, instances of homophobia and misogyny have been widely spread. 

However, calls for the football stands to be made a more equal space for female supporters compounded today, thanks to a rather unusual source. Photograph-sharing platform Getty has come under fire for publishing an article featuring a collection of "sexy" female football-watchers. 

The article, now deleted, was screen grabbed by indy100 and included the by-line: "Soccer is known asa beautiful game, and that includes its fans. Check out photos of some of the sexiest of them here." 

According to Indy 100, the gallery contained approximately 30 images of traditionally attractive women and not a single man. Oh, and there was another catch-line that read "Talk about a knock-out round…"

How charming and original. Not. 

Needless to say, Twitter was not pleased. 

This comes at a time when more and more women are calling for greater inclusion in the sporting world. Just last week, the ban on Iranian women attending matches was lifted and pages such as This Fan Girl have been working tirelessly to promote real women (as opposed to sex symbols) in the stands. 

A spokesperson for This Fan Girl, Emma Townley, told indy100 that the publication of the piece was "disappointing". 

"They need to do better, because of their size and influence they have a huge responsibility to not perpetuate the toxic male primacy that exists in football. I was going to tiptoe around this but we're so bored of this narrative.

"We set up This Fan Girl to fight exactly this, clearly, the problem is still fairly deep rooted and we desperately need balance."

In response to the backlash, Getty deleted the article and apologised saying that it "did not meet our editorial standards." 

Speaking to Channel 4 Getty's chief executive, Dawn Airey said that the piece as not reflective of company beliefs. 

"[The gallery] was not appropriate or in any way consistent with our company values or beliefs.

"We hold a deep belief in the power of visuals to incite change and shift attitudes and we have done and will continue to do, much work to promote and create a more evolved and positive depiction of women." 

We hope that this outdated approach to female football fans will die off soon. 


Hollywood's need to make the film industry more inclusive extends beyond the silver screen itself, to the reviewers of movies as well.

After all, they're the ones determining Rotten Tomatoes scores and swaying viewers' preferences (and more importantly, their ticket purchasing choices).

It honestly comes as no shock at all then that these film critics are, on the whole, mostly white and male.

Researchers from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that men wrote 77.8 percent of the nearly 20,000 reviews on the top 100 films of 2017. Only 22.2 percent of these film reviews were by women. 

A staggering 82 percent of the reviewers were white. Just 18 percent of film critics in the report were from non-white backgrounds.

As well, at top publications the gap between film critics who were white and those who were people of colour widened to 88.8 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.

Women of colour are especially underrepresented in the field of film criticism.

Female reviewers coming from non-white backgrounds made up 4.1 percent of the reviews sampled in the report.

That drops to just 2.5 percent when looking at top critics, putting the ratio of white male top critics to female top critics of colour at nearly 27 to one.

Commenting on this, the report's authors wrote, "The dearth of underrepresented women is startling in its own right, but more so when considering the invisibility of women and girls of colour on screen in film.

"We would expect that female reviewers from underrepresented backgrounds would be more likely to notice the absence or misrepresentation of women of colour on screen.

"Yet, the very critics who might be attuned to these issues rarely review films—even films with women of colour in leading roles."

If all of this is making you hot under the collar, you're not alone.

The team made recommendations that may help drive change, including a suggestion that sites show how many of their reviews were authored by people of colour, queer people, and other marginalised groups. 

This way, readers can see whether a film's rating is skewed by male and/or white voices.

One small way you can help combat this disappointing trend of underrepresentation is by supporting women of colour who are film reviewers as well.

Just to get you started, here are a few ladies whose incredible work you can support: Angelica Jade Bastién, Emily Yoshida, Valerie Complex, and Kristen Lopez (who's also outspoken on discrimination against disabled critics).


Dua Lipa is hitting out against the gender double standards that exist in the music industry and wider society.

The New Rules singer expressed in an interview that she feels female artists are not taken seriously in the same way male artists are. 

'For a female artist, it takes a lot more to be taken seriously if you're not sat down at a piano or with a guitar, you know?' she recently told British GQ. 


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"For a male artist, people instantly assume they write their own music, but for women, they assume it's all manufactured.'

Referring to the recent #MeToo movement, the singer went on to highlight the toxicity of a 'lad culture.'

'You know, even from school, growing up with kiss chase or whatever, it's been ingrained in our heads that boys will be boys and its harmless fun and no big deal and to brush things off,' she told the mag. 


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'Like catcalling. To some it might not seem a lot, but it affects your mood, people get embarrassed about the way they dress.'

Hear hear, Dua, hear hear. 



A bar in the UK has sparked outrage after it said it will no longer allow female-fronted bands to perform.

Staff at Doctor Brown's in Middlesbrough say the decision was made after they received a number of complaints from regular customers.

Despite a hugely negative reaction, bar owners have defended the controversial move claiming it “isn't sexist.”

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Doctor Brown's manager, Paula Rees, said: “We had female singers on in the past and customers just didn’t like it – we’re a rock bar and they don’t think that women should sing male rock songs.”

“It’s nothing to do with me, it’s the pub’s regulars who come in every week, they won’t come in if there’s a female singer.”

She continued: “We have got to keep our regulars happy, I’m not a rock fan so can’t judge myself but I’ve been told that some women can sing and some can’t, but they can’t sing heavy rock.”

“If we put a poster up and our regulars know there’s a woman in the band, they won’t give them a chance – they’re my bread and butter and we can’t risk nobody coming in.”

While Paula may claim the decision was made in the name of business, we can't help but think that excuse is a bit of a cop-out – and we're not the only ones.

Hey 'regulars'! Ever listen to the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Blondie or Paramore?

No? Didn't think so. 

Oh well, your loss. 


Last year, Game of Thrones star, Kit Harington, faced huge backlash after he compared the sexism faced by women on a daily basis to the process of men being selected for a role based on their looks.

"I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks," he said in a May 2016 interview with The Sunday Times.

"It's demeaning. Yes, in some ways you could argue I've been employed for a look I have. But there’s a sexism that happens towards men. There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well."

Needless to say, some people took issue with the controversial comments, with many pointing out that while objectification may exist for both genders, white male actors will always have the upper hand in Hollywood.

However, one year on, Kit has finally issued an apology for his careless remark.

Speaking to The Guardian, the 30-year-old said: "Sexism against men is not something I should have really said."

"I think what I meant was, being objectified. At that time, I did feel objectified, and now I’ve learned how to control that."

The actor went on to explain how while he remains somewhat uncomfortable with his sex-symbol status, he now realises that it was wrong to equate these feelings to the position of women in society.

“Look, I do think men can get objectified. I do feel I have been objectified in the past, sexually as well, in pieces that have been written about me.”

“Has that made me feel uncomfortable in the past? Yes. Do I think my position is the same as a woman’s in society? No. They’re very different things, and I should have separated them. I was wrong.”

His admission comes at a pivotal time in the entertainment industry as more and more women continue to come forward to share their experience of sexual abuse in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Here's hoping Kit's apology will inspire others to examine their own words and actions, and gain a better understanding of how sexism impacts the lives of women on a daily basis.


As discussion continues to rage over the entertainment industry's treatment of women, Jennifer Lawrence has added her voice to the conversation, and gave an insight into the precarious nature of working in Hollywood.

During her speech at ELLE's Women in Hollywood event last night, the 27-year-old star recalls being body-shamed by both male and female production members, and admits that her desire for a successful career often meant she allowed herself to be treated poorly.

In one example, Jennifer highlighted how rampant misogyny is in the industry when a male producer attempted to placate her over her supposed weight issues by calling her 'perfectly f*ckable'.

"One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough," Jennifer said of an unnamed movie production.

"And, during this time, a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet."

Appalled by the pressure being placed on her to shed weight, Jennifer goes onto explain that she approached a male producer to discuss the matter only to be further degraded under the guise of flattery.

"I asked to speak to a producer about the unrealistic diet regime and he responded by telling me he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was 'perfectly 'f*ckable'," Jennifer remembers.

Torn between wanting to establish a career and defend herself against prevailing misogyny, Jennifer found herself in a supremely difficult position – something she went on to address during her speech.

"I couldn't have gotten a producer or a director or a studio head fired. I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt like I had to for my career," she admitted.

It seems her supposed attitude on the set of that film cast a long shadow as the actress recalls being criticised in its aftermath, saying: "I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called difficult, which they did call me, but I believe the word they used was "nightmare."

"I didn't want to be a whistleblower. I didn't want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine. I just wanted a career," she told the audience.

Jennifer's story is, unfortunately, just one of dozens emerging from Holylwood in recent weeks.



A number of posters have been placed around Dublin as part of the City Council's new anti-sexism initiative.

The move comes after a report commissioned by Dublin City Council recommenced a number of measures be undertaken to ensure that women “enjoy a safe, secure freedom of movement through the city.”

One suggestion was the development of “public awareness campaigns expressing zero tolerance of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public space”.

Bearing the message, “a sexist remark is not a compliment,” it is hoped the new posters will raise awareness of the sexual harassment that women face on a daily basis.

After joining the UN Women Safe Cities Global Programme in 2013, Dublin is one of 20 cities aiming to reduce harassment of women and girls.

According to thejournal.ie, a spokesperson said: “The decision to join the global initiative was taken not because Dublin is an unsafe city but because the city wants to share and learn from knowledge in other cities.”

A safety audit revealed that inadequate street lighting and a lack garda presence at night made women feel uncomfortable when walking through the city.

Catcalling and groping on crowded public transport were also noted as major areas of concern.

Going forward, Dublin City Council plan to introduce educational programmes for the public and service providers, in particular the gardaí, which “clearly defines what constitutes sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence in public space.”



A publication in the UK has apologised after a sexist caption made its way to print.

Cycling Weekly was the subject of intense criticism after a photo of a female cyclist was captioned 'Toke attractive woman'.

The ill-advised caption made waves on Twitter after a member of the Hinckley Cycling Racing Club took to social media to share an image of the coverage.

"So my cycling club made it into @cyclingweekly and this happened. I hope @cyclingweekly apologise. Still a lot of equality work to do it," wrote Twitter user, Carlos Fandango.

The publication were swift to apologise, insisting that the caption was poor judgement on the part of a staff member, and not reflective of the magazine's views.

On Thursday, editor, Simon Richardson, acknowledged the Twitter backlash and issued a statement, saying: "In this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly we published a regular Ride With feature with the Hinckley Cycling Race Club in Leicester."

"Unfortunately during the magazine’s production process a member of the sub-editing team decided to write an idiotic caption on a photo of one of the female members of the club," Richardson continued.

"The caption is neither funny nor representative of the way we feel or approach our work. Sadly in the rush to get the magazine finished it was missed by other members of the team and eventually sent to print."

“We would like to apologise unreservedly to the rider in the photograph, the Hinckley CRC and all our readers. This appalling lack of judgement by an individual is just that, and not a reflection of the culture in the CW office.”

Unfortunately for Cycling Weekly, Twitter users weren't satisfied with the apology, with one member of the public writing: "Simon Richardson: So just the sub to blame? No proofing, no responsibility with you as editor? Seems very much like a company culture issue."

"I manage 500 people in a firm that employs over30,000. Such behaviour would be treated as Gross Misconduct. Blatant sexism isn't a "mistake"" countered another.

Others insisted that the caption merely confirmed what they already understood of the magazine, with one person writing: "More concerned by fact that week after week you produce magazine that gives impression male cyclists are the norm, female are an abberation."



Everyday, a new story comes out of the US about the double standards implemented in many of the high school and middle school dress codes across the pond. 

At some schools, female students are presented with a list of extensive rules which dictate how long their sleeves should be, what length a skirt can be, and how much shoulder is too much to show. 

San Benito high school in Hollister, California is one such school, and as the school's girls returned to education after the summer, they were told that off-the-shoulder tops (one of the season's biggest trends) were unacceptable.

In protest, the male students at the school came in wearing off-the-shoulder tops themselves, to highlight the ridiculous nature of the dress code. 

'A lot of people want to emphasise the male students' part in this protest, which I respect, but the purpose of this whole thing was to protest sexism against female students,' Andrei Vladimirov, a student at San Benito  told Teen Vogue.

'Not being able to wear a certain type of shirt may seem like a minor problem to some people, but it is representative of something much larger in society — the fact that women are still, today, being subjected to the dominance of male ideology.'

'Women deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, and this entails being able to dress as one pleases.'

'Women should be able to wear what they want without being systemically objectified — treated as if they have no personal sovereignty,' he finished.

While it is unfortunate that it was only after the male students stepped in to protest the dress code that it gained attention, hopefully this will be a step in the right direction of dismantling sexist dress codes for good. 


Body shaming can happen to women of any size or shape, and can happen on a public platform when you work in Hollywood. 

Actress Chloe Grace Moretz has spoken out about her firsthand experience with having her physique criticised, and at a seriously young age. 

Chloe spoke to Variety about a horrible instance of body shaming, which happened to her when she was just fifteen. 


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'This guy that was my love interest was like, ‘I’d never date you in real life,’ she began.

'I was, ‘What?'” she said. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re too big for me’ – as in my size.”

He was 'one of the only actors that ever made me cry on set,' she continued, declining to name the culprit. 


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'I went bawling to my brother and he was like, ‘What happened?’,And I was like, ‘He told me I was too big.’ And my brother was like, ‘What just happened?’ My brother was so angry.'

'I had to pick it up and go back on set and pretend he was a love interest, and it was really hard.'

'It just makes you realise that there are some really bad people out there and for some reason, he felt the need to say that to me.' she continued


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'You have to kind of forgive and not forget really, but it was just like wow. It was jarring. I look back on it and I was 15, which is really, really dark.'

Chloe went on to describe another occurrence, in which she was ostracised from her film crew due to the actions of her male co-star.

'They have this inferiority issue and I’m like, ‘You are completely equal to me, you are no different than me. I just happen to be the lead in this movie, and I don’t know why just because you are kind of the smaller character that you’re pushing me into a corner to try and put me down.'”

Kudos to Chloe for speaking out on the dual issues of equality and body shaming.